Dec 22, 2023
3 min read
A City Guide to Rio de Janeiro
From iconic beaches and breathtaking landscapes to vibrant culture, there’s not much that Rio de Janeiro is lacking. Nestled between lush mountains and the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern Brazil, the sprawling city effortlessly fuses the old with the new.
But what really gives Rio its unmatched zest is the Cariocas—the locals. The city pulses with youthful energy, visible in the street art that spices up its walls, the music that fills its air, and the dance that livens up its nights. Any traveler seeking a mix of urban energy and natural beauty should be making room for Rio on their must-visit list.
Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro
Perched in the heart of Rio’s iconic Ipanema neighborhood, one of our favorite things about Hotel Fasano is its infinity pool overlooking the cityscape. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, this is the perfect spot: it’s also situated closeby the legendary Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, creating that perfect balance of city life and oceanside relaxation.
Vila Santa Teresa is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a more bohemian vibe but want to keep all the luxuries of a five-star stay. The property feels light and airy, with sun-drenched rooms and windows giving views of Sugarloaf Mountain, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, and the city’s skyline.
Janeiro Hotel is perfectly sleek and modern but with a strong focus on sustainability. Its prime beachfront location is ideal for sun-worshippers, and its locally-sourced dishes at the on-site restaurant make it hard to bring yourself to leave the hotel.
Where to eat & drink in Rio de Janeiro
Start the day atCultivar
for breakfast, complete with some of Rio's best pão de queijo.Lilia
is an excellent choice for an unpretentious, fresh meal with produce picked straight from local farms by the chef. And for dinner, you can’t go wrong with a reservation atOro
, the Michelin-starred restaurant led by Celebrity Chef Felipe Bronze that’s been on the scene since 2010.
Remember to save room for dessert:Confeitaria Colombo
is a 122-year-old sweets shop that’s a must-visit, with vaulted ceilings and gilded mirrors.
Best coffee in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil is known for some of the best coffee in the world, so stopping for local brews is a must. While Rio doesn’t have as many coffee shops as other parts of Brazil, places likeLF Café and Bistrô
are great picks to taste delicious Brazilian coffee.
Where to shop in Rio de Janeiro
is home to some of the best swimsuits in Brazil, so it’s worth a stop on your way to the beach. For a shopping trip where you can also learn about Brazilian music, stop atTropicália Discos
, a go-to for vinyls that range in genres from samba to jazz. If you can bring back oversized luggage, a trip toMercado Moderno
, an antique furniture shop, is well worth the visit.
Where to get a hit of culture
You can’t visit Rio without seeing theChrist the Redeemer
Statue, but stopping your cultural excursions there would be a mistake. There are also incredible museums, like theMuseu do Amanhã
- a science museum in a futuristic building - and theMuseu de Arte do Rio
- the city's art museum.
To get plenty of culture in one place, visit theQuinta da Boa Vista
, one of the largest urban parks in Brazil. The park houses the Zoological and the National Museum, so you can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring.